About That Skinny Jeans Thing:: To my Fellow Millennials

Here’s what I think about the Gen Z-ers saying skinny jeans and side parts are for old people::

They’re right. From an elder millennial {born in 1983}, I believe them when they tell us what’s trendy right now. And I also believe them when they tell me I’m old. I mean, they’re 20-something and I’m 37! I get that 30-40 is old to them. I remember when it seemed old to me too. And when they push back against our fashion choices and set their own standards for what’s trendy, it’s actually very, very normal. They’re finding their look and their identity and I’m here for it. Like children growing into adolescence who rebel against the status quo- it’s a natural progression of growing up. If you’ll remember, we Millennials were there not so very long ago, telling our own mothers why their jeans were bad and their hair was wrong. In my memory, the waists of their jeans were too high and their permed hair was too big. I wanted my hair stick straight and my belly unrestricted and free in my low-rise jeans, thank you very much.

A GIF of four women wearing high-waisted jeans and striking poses.

My real disappointment in this whole skinny jeans debacle is how my generation is responding to these youngins’. We’ve snapped back with a lot of hot takes, “sit-downs,” and “listen-ups” rather than with a “you look cute!” or maybe even “where can I get jeans like that?” It seems our defensiveness is another sign of our age along with our skinny jeans and side parts. If we’re so confident in our current look, why not let that speak for itself? Let’s wear what we want, let the Gen Zers do the same, and pass off the judgment we may be feeling with a little “bless your heart” and a reminder to ourselves that one day they’ll get old too.

What’s the Point?

Laura Brown, editor in chief of In Style was asked in 2018 about the purpose of fashion and I absolutely love her response:: “Joy. That is the purpose of fashion for me. The joy of wearing something that makes you feel powerful or beautiful or in control… It’s not about feeling less than — less cool, less rich, less skinny {as I know fashion can so often do}. It’s about what makes you feel better.”

So, as a 37-year-old Millennial who likes to change things up every now and then, and who never wants to make someone feel less than because of their taste in fashion, I’m willing to take notes from the generation behind us. I don’t want to be accused of shutting someone out or putting them down just because they’re young. We already know Gen Z is the most tech-savvy and racially diverse generation yet. We may have much to learn from them in the years to come. And have you seen their Tik Tok dances?!? {Insert mind-blown emoji.} I have only ever danced like that in my wildest dreams.

A GIF of two people dressed in colorful out-of-fashion outfits and dancing in sync.

So why not listen to the next generation {that in many ways we have influenced, taught, and helped raise!} and be proud of them for their individuality, rather than belittling them? As millennials, we’re all too familiar with how it feels to have the generation above you railing against you for something that seems completely unfair. Remember the whole “Millennials are so entitled” narrative? It was a blanket statement we heard over and over {and still hear sometimes!} from the Baby-Boomer generation that was at best an annoying stereotype and at worst a dehumanizing diatribe. Now, perhaps in part because of this narrow-minded labeling, the phrase “Ok, Boomer” has even earned a spot on Dictionary.com where it is defined as a way “to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or closed-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation.” Are we now on our way to earning our own phrase?

A GIF of an annoyed woman.

Let’s All Just Wear What We Want

I guess what it comes down to is that I never want to be so stubbornly set in my ways {whether they are political, religious, or even fashion-related} that I close myself off to taking in new information. Even if this information comes from someone younger than me. When it comes to fashion, I can experiment with new trends if I want to, or I can stick with my old tried and true skinny jeans without getting upset about it. Let’s all just calm down, acknowledge we’re getting older, choose to love ourselves exactly as we are, and wear whatever the heck we want.

So yeah, the truth is, I’ve started parting my hair down the middle {ever since I cut some desperate quarantine bangs last fall}. I’ve also ordered and tried on a few different styles of jeans lately because the Covid pounds are real, y’all, and my tried and true old skinnies ain’t feelin’ so hot right now!! But here’s the thing, trends are not one size fits all. Trends will always come and go. Fashion is about joy. Let’s wear what we want and demonstrate the wisdom we’ve gained in our “old” age by allowing that same grace for the next generation too.

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About that Skinny Jeans Thing: To My Fellow Millenials. Logo: Houston Moms. A photograph of three people wearing jeans and holding open books with backpacks next to their feet.

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Bethany Dufilho
Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain and a special education teacher, grew up moving every 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled just north of Houston, where she earned her master's degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she decided to stay home full time with their children, Charlie {2008}, Norah {2010}, and Will {2013}. The family moved to Katy in 2012, where they’ve been ever since. She loves decorating and even had her own small business for a while. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.


  1. Ummm….they stole our Mom jeans and make them look cute again…seriously???
    I make it a point to compliment my students on their fashion adventures every day. It’s important to build kids up, not tear them down. Let them explore who they are with their clothing, hair, and make-up choice. As for me, I will take my side part, my baggy jeans, and super uncool shoes and let the kids call me out for it…at least we are communicating and that is EVERYTHING. Build those relationships, so when they need you, they will come to you.

    • Yessss I love that so much- the relationships are way more important than the fashion choices. Building up rather than tearing down. And this is what makes you an incredible mom, teacher, and neighbor. <3

  2. Well said. I have never understood this whole skinny Jean/side part “war” anyway or why some older women get on Tiktok and lecture the Gen Zers. Live and let live. I have actually been reconsidering my skinny jeans lately …not trying to jump on a trend … just keeping an open mind. But the side part? That stays 🙂

  3. But also, maybe they should quit being as judgmental…we know we’re old, this is our style choices and those are yours. Neither one is wrong or “over”, wear what you like and let others do the same. Let’s celebrate everyone’s style without placing labels on it as good or bad or out or in blah blah blah


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